(Q) The Fishing Museum

Welcome to the Fishing Museum!

The Fishing Museum, external section of the Malcantone Museum, is situated in Caslano (Ticino, Switzerland). This fascinating exhibition gives us an idea of fishing from prehistoric times to today, touching upon several subjects like boat construction, the fish trade, the production of fishing nets, fish species found in our rivers and lakes, ancient fishing techniques, all this, in a relaxing environment close to the lake shore.

The Fishing Museum opened in Caslano in 1993, thanks to the efforts of Franco Chiesa (1921-1998) and the collaboration of Pietro Colombo and Piercarlo Parini, as an external section of the Malcantone Museum, recognised and supported by the Canton of Ticino. The support of the Tourist Board, several friends, donors and sponsors, as well as the generosity of the Municipality of Caslano, which offered its former headquarters situated in Via Campagna free of charge, have been key to it becoming established.

In its twenty-four years of activity, the museum has grown steadily: enriched by the addition of new rooms and materials, it is universally acclaimed as the most important museum of its kind in Switzerland.

The museum was founded with the aim of documenting the traditions and techniques connected with the world of fishing. However, it now wishes to turn its attention to new, broader issues such as cultivating the relationship between humankind and nature, the recovery of aquatic environments, and research into traditions connected with the lakes of the Insubria region as well as with their exploitation as sources of livelihood and communication routes.

Besides its attractive location close to the lake, the museum’s new home, Villa Carolina, offers functional, open spaces and a fresh display approach. The ground floor of the new pavilion is home to a multimedia room and a room for temporary exhibitions. In the large space on the first floor, a fully decked out fishing boat makes for the visual focus of the exhibition, around which the main themed museum tour, dedicated to fish, their environment and traditional fishing techniques, revolves. Visitors continue on their tour through the rooms of the villa, on the theme of sport fishing, fly fishing and the peschiere or eel ponds on the Tresa river. The visit concludes with a well-stocked library and pleasant reading environment.

The exhibition has been designed particularly with school students in mind, with a learning area dedicated specially to them where they can learn more about the world of fish in a hands-on way.

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